Player Management The Key To Gaining Advantage

A great win against Newcastle has put us in a positive position going into the final 2 weeks of 2011. However, it is vital that we continue with recent form and perform well against Adelaide this week.

A great win against Newcastle has put us in a positive position going into the final 2 weeks of 2011. However, it is vital that we continue with recent form and perform well against Adelaide this week. As we have seen previously with the Gold Coast, position on the table is no reflection of the difficulty of the game and this will be the case with Adelaide. They have a strong squad and we must perform to our maximum potential to ensure the desired 3 points.

The A League is a very close competition and with a salary cap it ensures that there is very little difference between the top and bottom teams. It is for this reason that any advantage we can gain is most important and thus we strive to stay ahead of the pack with our player management. In the previous article I wrote about the daily monitoring we complete and this is central to the operation of our human performance unit.

However, to make our unit run effectively we have a number of people involved. Head physio Stan Ivancic has been here since Day 1 of Sydney FC and he does an outstanding job in overseeing the physical therapy department. Furthermore, our head massage therapist Mike Mankourian offers a great service and with the student massage therapists we involve the players receive excellent recovery massage. Our head medical officer Dr Danny Biggs and our sports medicine physician Dr Andrew McDonald are also involved in the day-to-day management of our injured players.

We also have a number of consultants in podiatry (Dr Michael Kinchington), dietetics (The Athletes Kitchen) and also in psychology. Furthermore, I am very lucky to have 3 great interns (Fabian, George and Jarryd) who work closely with me and help to complete the research projects that we have initiated. Thus as you can see it is a multidisciplinary approach to the management of the players. It is not possible to prevent every injury but it is possible and a necessity that best practise is followed in respect to player welfare. The management of the human performance aspect of players goes far beyond getting players “fit” as in reality it is easy to get players fit but less simple to ensure this fitness is specific to the game, that players are fit at the right time and the fitness work does not lead to injury.

To put it simply Performance = Fitness-Fatigue but too often people do not respect that fatigue is part of the equation and it is not managed effectively. At Sydney FC we take a big picture view to human performance and are always trying to advance our field and give our players the best service possible. On behalf of the Human Performance Team I wish you a very happy Christmas and let-s hope we get a great early present with a victory this week.